Pappy Van Winkle Announces 2019 Releases

Pappy Van Winkle

The 2019 Collection from Pappy Van Winkle

Buffalo Trace

For countless bourbon lovers across the country, the holiday season begins before any turkey goes into the oven. It actually arrives today with the announcement of Pappy Van Winkle’s annual whiskey releases. Although they won't actually hit shelves until next month–and in supremely limited quantity–here’s what you can expect to find should you be lucky enough to encounter any of this year’s labels in the wild:

  • $69.99 - Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof
  • $79.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old
  • $119.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 Year Old
  • $119.99 - Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old
  • $199.99 - Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old
  • $299.90 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old

A press release from the Frankfort, Kentucky-based distiller warns that yields from this year’s barrels are predictably low thanks to very thirsty ‘angels’ taking advantage of the liquids’ lengthy aging cycles. Furthermore, you’re more likely to spot Elvis at your local liquor store than you are to see Pappy sitting on shelf at suggested retail value.

“Unfortunately we cannot control the price retailers charge,” says Julian Van Winkle, president of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. “So some retailers mark it up beyond our MSRP, even though we ask them not to. We are committed to releasing a quality product and hope retailers will honor what we suggest as a fair retail price.”

Although its precise origins are debated, so-called ‘Pappy Mania’ revved into overdrive late in the 2000s, more then five years after the Van Winkle family entered into a partnership with Buffalo Trace distillery to produce and age their storied liquids. The wheated bourbons are renowned for holding a soft, sweetened edge and smooth, lengthy finish. It’s an alluring combination of flavors and aromas that have garnered the whiskies dozens of coveted prizes over the past decade, including a Gold Medal at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition (for the 15-year-old expression).

If you hope to procure a bottle this autumn, the folks who make it suggest steering clear of online resellers and digital marketplaces, including private Facebook and MeWe groups. “Trading and selling bourbon online is an unlicensed and illegal sale,” says Kris Comstock, senior marketing director at Buffalo Trace Distillery. “Purchasing bourbon online from unlicensed parties is dangerous. The product may be counterfeit and unsafe.” So be sensible. No bourbon is worth getting ripped off for.

Happy hunting. And now that it’s official for the bourbon lovers out there: happy holidays!

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For countless bourbon lovers across the country, the holiday season begins before any turkey goes into the oven. It actually arrives today with the announcement of Pappy Van Winkle’s annual whiskey releases. Although they won't actually hit shelves until next month–and in supremely limited quantity–here’s what you can expect to find should you be lucky enough to encounter any of this year’s labels in the wild:

  • $69.99 - Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof
  • $79.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old
  • $119.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 Year Old
  • $119.99 - Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old
  • $199.99 - Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old
  • $299.90 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old

A press release from the Frankfort, Kentucky-based distiller warns that yields from this year’s barrels are predictably low thanks to very thirsty ‘angels’ taking advantage of the liquids’ lengthy aging cycles. Furthermore, you’re more likely to spot Elvis at your local liquor store than you are to see Pappy sitting on shelf at suggested retail value.

“Unfortunately we cannot control the price retailers charge,” says Julian Van Winkle, president of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. “So some retailers mark it up beyond our MSRP, even though we ask them not to. We are committed to releasing a quality product and hope retailers will honor what we suggest as a fair retail price.”

Although its precise origins are debated, so-called ‘Pappy Mania’ revved into overdrive late in the 2000s, more then five years after the Van Winkle family entered into a partnership with Buffalo Trace distillery to produce and age their storied liquids. The wheated bourbons are renowned for holding a soft, sweetened edge and smooth, lengthy finish. It’s an alluring combination of flavors and aromas that have garnered the whiskies dozens of coveted prizes over the past decade, including a Gold Medal at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition (for the 15-year-old expression).

If you hope to procure a bottle this autumn, the folks who make it suggest steering clear of online resellers and digital marketplaces, including private Facebook and MeWe groups. “Trading and selling bourbon online is an unlicensed and illegal sale,” says Kris Comstock, senior marketing director at Buffalo Trace Distillery. “Purchasing bourbon online from unlicensed parties is dangerous. The product may be counterfeit and unsafe.” So be sensible. No bourbon is worth getting ripped off for.

Happy hunting. And now that it’s official for the bourbon lovers out there: happy holidays!

Brad Japhe is a freelance journalist specializing in food, beverage, and travel. He moonlights as a beer and spirits consultant, hosting monthly craft pairings/education...